All you want to know bout Marshfield Missouri
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 1,493 ft (455 m). Population 6,633 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Marshfield is the county seat of Webster County, in southwestern Missouri. (Map of Marshfield).
A 1980 building in Marshfield, as it appears today
History of Marshfield
The first humans settled in southern Missouri some 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age some 10,000 years ago. More recenly, around 700 BC the Osage peple settled here after being expelled from their homeland on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers by the warmongering Iroquois.
The French reached the area in 1682. The named it "Louisiana" after their king Louis XIV. In 1803 Napoleon sold it to the U.S. Government. The Missouri Territory was organized in 1812 and statehood reached in 1821.
A series of treaties removed the Ossage and other natives that had been relocated in Missouri by the U.S. Government so by the early 1830s, the first white settlers arrived.
The Flannagan family arrived in the 1830s and Webster county was established in 1855. One year later Marshfield was founded.
The name: Marshfield
The county was named after a prominent 19th century politician: Daniel Webster and the town was named after the place he had lived in: Marshfield Massachusetts.
The Atlantic & Pacific Railroad reached Marshfield in 1872. In 1880 an F4 strength tornado struck the town killing 99 people, one tenth of its population.
Route 66 was created in 1926, and passed through the town. When the road was improved after 1955 it was realigned to the west of the old road, bypassing the town.
Where to Lodge in Marshfield, Missouri
Lodging in Marshfield...
> > Book your hotel in Marshfield
More Lodging near Marshfield along Route 66
Motels and Hotels close to Marshfield
Hotels, Westwards in Missouri
Heading West... Hotels & Motels in Kansas...
- 127 miles Baxter Springs
Further West... Hotels & Motels on Route 66 in Oklahoma...
Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation
- 30 miles Lebanon
- 64 miles Waynesville
- 66 miles Saint Robert
- 93 miles Rolla
- 103 miles Saint James
- 117 miles Cuba
- 133 miles Sullivan
- 152 miles Saint Clair
- 161 miles Motels and Hotels in Villa Ridge
- 167 miles Motels and Hotels in Pacific
- 174 miles Motels and Hotels in Eureka
- 202 miles Motels and Hotels in St. Louis
>> Check out the RV campgrounds in Marshfield
Weather in Marshfield
Marshfield has clearly defined seasons. Its position on the northern limit of U.S.'s humid subtropical climate gives it very humid weather during late summer.
The July average temperatures (summer) temperatures are: (high) 89°F (31.6°C); (low) 68° (19.8°C). The aerage January (winter) high temperature is 43°F (6.1°C) while the average low is below freezing: 22°F (-5.3°C).
Annual rainfall averages 45.6 in. (1.160 mm), and Marshfield receives about 17 in. of snow (43 cm) every year.
Marshfield is located in the "Tornado Alley" and Webster County has around 9 tornado strikes per year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Marshfield
Get to Marshfield along historic Route 66 or Interstate I-44 which links it to Springfield, and further west, with Tulsa and Oklahoma City in the west. It leads east to Lebanon and St. Louis. US highways 60, 65 and 160 are located further west, in Springfield Missouri.
Map of Route 66 through Marshfield Missouri
Display Marshfield Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
Below is the color key for Route 66’s alignment in Marshfield:
(for the other parts of Missouri, check the color key in the corresponding city's web page)
Pale Blue: The 1926 to 1953 and later alignments of Route 66. The alignments after 1953 became part of what is now I-44.
Route 66's alignment in Missouri: the Historic Route 66 through Marshfield
Route 66 across Missouri
Historic U.S. highway 66, "Route 66" has been designated as an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Missouri.
Click on the following link for a Full description of Route 66 across the state of Missouri.
Route 66 Sights in Marshfield
Landmarks and Places to See
Hubble's birth place
Marshfield and its Route 66 attractions
Marshfield is a town on the 1926 to 1953 Route 66 alignment and has the Skyline Cafe, a Replica of the Hubble Space Telescope, a Central Square with a Building from 1880 and the Fair Oaks Motel from the 1950s.
Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Marshfield
After driving the whole of US 66 in 1946, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" which gives us a good description of
the Mother Road during its heyday. Here is what he says about Marshfield:
"... Tarr's garage; Webster hotel; stores; few cabins.) The town of Marshfield is a short distance off US 66. At the intersection of US 66 and the road into town, there are several small cafes, gas stations and a few tourist cabins." he called it "The village of Marshfield" which was "Little touched by the rush of the highway traffic".
Tour the route 66 landmarks in Marshfield
The cafes, cabins and gas stations mentioned by Rittehnhouse have all gone, razed by new developments and the loss of business after U.S. 66 moved west of town in 1955. However the former Skyline Cafe building still stands, at that intersection mentioned by him, north of town, here you can begin your tour of Marshfield:
Route 66 (SW corner of Elm and Hubble)
Also known as Trask's Place the The one-story building with a side-gabled roof (once it was very steep -see photo below, but it was reformed and lowered), constructed in concrete blocks was built around 1930.
It was a café and a DX brand gasoline filling station known as Trask's Place located on Route 66 and next to the local airport. It was renamed due to this as the Skyline Cafe. In 1962 the Marshfield Country Club acquired the building.
Head south into the city and visit its Central Square:
Replica of the Hubble Space Telescope
Central Square, SW corner at W Madison and S. Clay St. by the courthouse
Scale Model of the Hubble Space Telescope, Dual Freq.
The 1⁄4 scale model is a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope located at the county courthouse in Marshfield, Missouri. It has a Marker, and was dedicated by the Hubbell Family Historical Society on June 12, 1999.
Edwin Powell Hubble (1889 - 1953) was an American astronomer born in Marshfield. He discovered that the galaxies are moving away from each other at a speed that is proportional to its distance from us. Therefore the Universe is expanding as laid out by what is known as "Hubble's law".
The stretch of I-44 freeway at Marshfield is named after him. And the space telescope launched by NASA into space to study the universe was also named in his honor.
Old 1880 Building
111 S Clay St, Marshfield, NW corner of S Clay and W Madison.
The two-story brick building that now is Smokey J's restaurant, was built in 1880 and in the past has been a furniture store, a funeral parlor, an auto parts shop and a laundromat. It is located across the street from the replica of the space telescope.
The Missouri Walk of Fame honors famous Missourians and is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the stars in the sidewalk are added during the local "Cherry Blossom Festival".
Drive out of town, westwards along W. Jackson St., reach the southern junction of Old Route 66 (which bypasses the town in a wide arch along its western side) and head west along Spur Dr. towards Interstate 44, cross over it at Exit 100's overpass and to your right is the Fair Oaks Motel:
Fair Oaks Motel
113 Missouri W, Marshfield. NW side of I-44 Exit 100
During the mid 1950s, U.S. 66 was upgraded and improved. It was turned into a safer and straighter four-lane highway that bypassed the towns and stopped using the the old 1926 to 1950s alignment. This became a frontage road or a Missouri State Highway. After 1958 I-44 was aligned alongside US-66 and used the new freeway. It was here, next to the Exit that led into Marshfield, that the Fair Oaks Motel was built. It is stil there, but now it is the Plaza Motel:
View of the former Fair Oaks Motel, today the Plaza Motel
Vintage postcard of the Fair Oaks Motel, today the Plaza Motel
Tours & Itineraries
Old Route 66 in Marshfield, Missouri
Cars became more popular and by 1910 they had expanded to the countryside but the dirt tracks suitable for carts were not adequate for cars. The public demanded improved roads and this led to John Woodruff and the Inter-Ozarks Highway Association tate he presided to lobby for good highways.
Missouri State Highway 14 was built through the area and in 1926 it became Route 66's alignment. Woodruff's office in Springfield was the Birthplace of Route 66.
Old Route 66: 1926-1953 Alignment through Marshfield
The original alignment is shown in the Map above in Pale Blue, and was a winding course between Strafford and Lebanon.
In 1952 the Missouri Highway Department began improving Route 66 to make it safer, and it built a straighter alignment to the west of the original one, upgrading it gradually to a four lane highway that coexisted with I-44 until it was finally decertified around 1979.
Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map.
The map above shows Route 66 between Lebanon and Springfield in 1957. I-44 had not yet been built and US 66 was a divided highway that almost reached Strafford. The older alignment of Route 66 had been redsignated as MO-CC between Conway and Marshfield.
> > See this segment Lebanon to Springfield (east)
> > See the next segment Springfield to Halltown (west)
Maura Johnson and John F. Bradbury, Route 66 Association of Missouri. 1993, Architectural ⁄ Historical Inventory Survey. Route 66 in Missouri
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.